Religion has played a monumental role in shaping our world – as well as our institution. But religion is not just an interesting relic from the past. One of Lakeland’s institutional values is “Faith and Religious Expression.” By stating this, we claim faith as a valuable resource many draw upon to guide their understanding of the world and their place in it.
The impact of religion on individuals, communities, and cultures continues to be indisputably powerful. It shapes much of our public discourse. It is integral to many people’s perspectives on politics, interpersonal relationships, and justice. Religion still matters—a lot.
Here at Lakeland, the study of religion is grounded in the Christian theological tradition, and guided by our relationship with the United Church of Christ. What this means is that we study religion here at Lakeland in a spirit of respect, generosity, and curiosity. We do this not despite the fact that we are grounded in the Christian tradition, but because of it.
We lead students to encounter a diverse range of religious traditions, and encourage them to shape their own understanding of the sacred through critical inquiry, dialogue with peers and professors, and mindful reflection.
“I love that our program offers deep dives into Christian traditions as well as introductions to a broader set of religious communities. In my courses we explore a wide range of theological ideas and ethical implications, from the earliest days of Christianity through contemporary understandings of a God who is still speaking about the ways love and justice intersect with realities of race, sex, gender, sexuality, nationality, class, ability, and beyond.”
— Rev. Dr. Julie Mavity Maddalena
“Our program is unique in how we use sociological and anthropological insights to better understand how religions function for people, groups, and cultures. In my courses, we explore how various religious traditions use their beliefs and practices to call us to be better people living in harmonious community with one another.”
— Dr. Alan Mock
“In classrooms characterized by respectful dialogue, students encounter and together reflect upon poignant and powerful testimonies to what it means to live righty with God, one another, and creation. Students are often transformed by that encounter, and empowered to claim more fully their calling as agents of God.”
— Rev. Dr. Karl Kuhn
Our religion program is not confined by the walls of a classroom. Far from it! Through our Ulrich Center for Faith, Ethics, and Justice, students will have the opportunity to engage insightful thinkers and leaders from across the country, representing various religious traditions.
Religion majors can also take advantage of the innovative Cooperative Education track the program offers. Students will gain hands-on, immersive, credit-bearing and paid experience, building their resumé as they learn in and outside the classroom. Our Cooperative Education track also results in a Social Justice Studies (SJS) minor.
Students with a special interest in exploring the intersections between faith, ethics and social justice can also apply to become an Ulrich Scholar and receive a substantial scholarship to support their learning at Lakeland.
Expectations of Ulrich Scholars include:
After gaining acceptance to Lakeland, you can apply for this scholarship through your Future Muskie Portal.
Lakeland's Cooperative Education program will provide Religion students with the ability to earn 12-18 months of full-time work experience, academic credit for their work, and a combination of scholarships and wages that will significantly reduce or eliminate post-graduation debt.